Survey design

This article is intended for helping these of our customers who have prefered not to ask us for consultancy during the survey design process.

We strongly recommend, if you are not an expert in survey design, to ask for our services so that you can make the most form your survey. Please be sure that an ill designed survey not only can give you non-suitable information but also can mislead you in your decision process. A badly designed survey also burns your audience for a while, in best case.

We recommend you to strictly follow these guidelines to design your survey:

  • Answer yourself in just one simple statement what is your goal for this survey. If you cannot, it is quite posible that you need not one but several different surveys. It is very important that you resist the impulse to make a big broad survey to answer any kind of mixed questions. Go straight to the point!
  • Write down a list of questions, simple, direct and short, following your goal. Order your questions accordingly to your importance criteria. Be very careful with the order: a question should not produce bias in the answering of the next one.
  • Review your questions and their order. It is not posible to change the survey once it is published.
  • Keep a low number of questions. If your survey is longer than 10 questions you are going to burn your audience and for sure you are going to gather far less information. If your survey has more than 15 questions it is probably not well designed. Choose only those questions which seem more relevant to you.
  • For each question, write down a list of answers, simple, direct and short, preferably 5 or less and never more than 7. List the posible answers in a logical order.
  • Do not use free-text answers if it is posible to get the information using a normalised answer. This kind of information is hard for you to process and can lead you to ill conclusions. Free-text answers are good for qualitative research, not quantitative.
  • Do not take anything for granted. If your list of posible answers to a question does not cover every posibility you are going to make your customer feel frustrated.

We hope this points can help you to make a better, more useful survey.




There are two main benefits of making a survey: For one side you gather vital information for the development of your business; on the other making surveys reinforces the image of your company in front of your customers.

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